Hellhound (5 - Just Another Condemned Soul)
Alright, I said last chapter that this one would explain pretty much everything about this version of Hell I created for Hellhound, but unfortunately, I ran out of time and had to hurry up and post this Thankfully, though, with this short conversation out of the way, I can go ahead start with the explanation right away in the next one:D Honestly, I like it better that way, anyways, so it all works out And if anyone’s offended by me trying to make Adolf Hitler appear humane, I apologize in advance Enjoy
<- Chapter 4
Just Another Condemned Soul
In spite of everything I had witnessed so far…and all the evidence that supported the simple truth that this man had undergone a greater change in morality than anyone else I’ve met in my time here, …I could not possibly take my mind off the fact that the infamous figure I was now engaged in semi-friendly conversation with…had ultimately laid the foundations for more than eleven million unjustified deaths. …However, if I was to ever go through with my plan to escape from this place, …I would need the information he had to offer…and, for that, I needed to set aside these rageful emotions for the time being.
“Excuse me, …Justin?”
…These thoughts must’ve been clouding my mind as he spoke to me.
“You…just asked me how I came to learn English.”
“…Oh, right. …I was just spacing, I guess, …sir.”
“Hmhm, it’s quite alright. And please, there’s no need for such formalities. …We both know I have no right to be addressed as such.”
He was acknowledging the impact of his sins. …Granted, anyone with a fraction of a heart could understand that hands stained with that much blood would not go unnoticed in God’s eyes, but…could even Adolf Hitler have found a sense of shame and regret for his unjustifiable actions, …even after sixty-seven years in Hell? …To be honest, it was becoming all the more difficult not to question this directly, …despite being in the presence of two men who, against all odds, have found themselves capable of becoming acquainted with this man.
“Yeah, …that’s probably true.”
“Justin, what is the matter with you!? You can’t-”
“Louis, please. …I wouldn’t have admitted it myself if I had a problem with him giving his honest opinion on the matter.”
He didn’t respond to this request and simply sat back down in his rusted seat, though he continued to shoot me a look of utter disapproval. While I understood the reasoning behind Louis’s actions, …I still couldn’t overlook the fact that he had stepped in to defend one of the most notorious men of the past century. I realized that he had been deemed wicked enough to be cast into Hell, but…to make friends with the infamous Nazi leader, …was that even possible?
“Well now, back to your question, then. …You did still want to know, correct?”
“…Yeah. …It’s just odd to me, because I’ve never heard any sources state that you ever spoke English.”
“Well, that’s because I didn’t, …but it’s the language I hear spoken the most and, when you’ve been here as long as I have, you tend to…learn a few things overtime.”
“…Makes sense. …Did you try to escape yourself?”
I wasn’t entirely sure what caused him to appear somewhat disappointed, …be it the topic itself or the fact that I was so anxious to hear the information he had to give. Regardless, …it worried me. To my surprise, though, it was his friend who spoke next, …the first time since I arrived in this room.
“You’re an awfully hasty young man, aren’t you? Take it from me, my friend, there’s little point rushing through this stunt you hope to pull off. …I assure you, what you intend to do will take time and preparation, as well as strength and courage, …and with your very existence at stake further down the road, I highly suggest you savor what time you have left before crossing that point.”
He appeared to be at least thirty years older than Adolf, who was nearly sixty at the time of his suicide. Keeping in mind exactly who he was sitting beside as he spoke, I would’ve believed him to have died long before Nazi Germany rose to prominence, …had his attire not been so…modern.
“And with a name like Leonard, I highly doubt that he’s German. …But, then who the hell is he?”
He must have read my mind, …because he quickly gave me my answer.
“A veteran, son.”
“You’re wondering why I spend all this time conversing with Adolf?”
“…I was a veteran of the United States Army. …I fought in Europe during World War II. I was…there when Berlin fell.”
…I suppose looking back, …I might have been too harsh while questioning him.
“Then what the hell are you doing with him!? You do realize that this is the man you were fighting against the entire time, right!? …And after everything he did during the war, how the hell can you even SPEAK to him!?”
I sat back down in my seat, already starting to regret my outburst. I looked to Adolf to find him burying his face in his hand before looking back at Leonard, …who against all odds, …was furious.
“You say these things as if I didn’t think them at one time! I know full well what he did in those years and still think about it! …I lost many brothers-in-arms in the war that he started and I’ll never forgive him for that, …but in case you haven’t realized it, …he’s been paying for his sins all this time, years after that dreadful war ended. …I’ve seen how regretful he is firsthand. He welcomes detest from others and encourages the demons can use their most horrific killing methods available to them, …so why waste my breath pointing out the atrocities he committed in life when he clearly never stops thinking of them?”
…In all honesty, I was left completely speechless, …so I remained in my seat and waited for him to continue.
“I lived throughout most of the twentieth century, obversing many crimes of hate and rascism, …often participating in them. …I took the lives of twenty-seven soldiers during my time on the battlefield…and unlike him, they were killed by my own hands, not by orders given out to other men. …You say he has blood on his hands, …but there was a time when my hands were literally soaked in another man’s blood. …I don’t know what your opinion of me is now…or whether or not it’s any less disdainful than that which you have for Adolf, …but you’d do well to keep this in mind, my friend. …We’re all taking the same punishment for our sins, …regardless of how great they are, …regardless. …To me now, he’s just another damned soul trapped in this place…and I treat him just as such.”
I lifted my head back up when I realized he had finally finished speaking. …He was certainly a spirited old man. I took everything he just told me into account and tried to think of something to say. …In the end, I could not.
I turned my head towards Louis in surprise. …It had been a while since I last heard him speak.
“Are you alright?”
“…Yeah. …Yeah, I’m…fine. …I, uh, …”
Contrary to all my prior convictions, Leonard had made too fine a point for me to rebuke. …In life, Adolf Hitler was the catalyst for the most notorious case of mass genocide in all of history. …Here in Hell, …he was just another condemned soul, doomed to the same fate as every other, …though I still couldn’t bring myself to ask him for forgiveness. …Thankfully, I didn’t have to.
“Hey, my boy.”
“I said before, no need to worry yourself. …You aren’t the first…and certainly not the last.”
“…Thank you, …Adolf.”
To this moment, I still can’t believe I managed to say even that. …I suppose that’s what it means to be the better man.
“Well then, if you have no other questions, …are you ready to learn what you’ll need to know?”
All my wandering thoughts quickly returned to this point. …Finally, I was going to learn the secrets behind the workings of Hell itself.
“Yes, …I’m ready.”
“Then, listen carefully…and never forget these teachings I'm now conveying to you.”
- The End -